Nye 4

civil war as an example of historic memory (how different people use history)

when and why did the counternarrative about preserving forests start?

Background: George Perkins Marsh focused on reasons to preserve forests:    he is arguing from scientific ideas of the time about climate and weather Marsh's Address delivered before the Agricultural society of Rutland County, Sept. 30, 1847   
he starts with the idea that agriculture is a "means and instrument of civilization and social progress" and asks how it can be improved

Background: The fight to preserve the Adirondacks also initially avoided wilderness claims

"The Adirondack Wilderness contains the springs which are the sources of our principal rivers, and the feeders of the canals. Each summer the water supply for these rivers and canals is lessened, and commerce has suffered...

The immediate cause has been the chopping and burning off of vast tracts of forest in the wilderness, which have hitherto sheltered from the sun's heat and evaporation the deep and lingering snows, [and] the brooks and rivulets ...

Now the winter snows that accumulate on the mountains, unprotected from the sun, melt suddenly and rush down laden with disaster...

The remedy for this is the creation of an Adirondack Park or timber preserve, under charge of a forest warden and deputies. The "burning off" of mountains should be visited with suitable penalties; the cutting of pines under ten inches or one foot in diameter should be prohibited. The officers of the law might be supported per capita tax, upon sportsmen, artists, and tourists visiting the region; a tax which they would willingly pay if the game should be protected from unlawful slaughter, and the grand primeval forest be saved from ruthless desolation.

The interests of commerce and navigation demand that these forests should be preserved; and for posterity should be set aside, this Adirondack region, as a park for New York, as is the Yosemite for California and the Pacific States."

these various ideas of preservation tended to become a nostalgia for wilderness and enthusiasm for rustic vacation homes.
mass produced log cabin kits!

important paragraph at the bottom of page 84 begins:  "Thus the foundation narrative of the axe and the log cabin invented in the late eighteenth century passed through a distinct series of stages":

  1. late 18th century: frontiersmen prepared the land for settled farmers
  2. early 19th century: the log cabin as noble origin: one family built a farm in the wilderness
  3. mid to late 19th century: counternarrative--destruction of the wilderness
  4. end of the 19th century: the log cabin and the forest as an escape from civilization and nostalgia for a simpler life
  5. early to mid 20th century: scientific forestry, trees as a crop
  6. starting in the 1960s: counternarrative--radical environmentalism, trees have rights

native American's had a very different notion of the forest than the European focus on property and exploitation--they saw it as a living thing